international painting annual 1 exhibition-in-print
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Bridget Grady
Watertown, Connecticut

Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design & Media, Assistant Professor

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The "Conversation with Pieter and Paul" investigates ideas of consumption and its effects on the environment and human cultures. The work poses questions surrounding desire, tradition, mass production and the effects of Western material culture on developing nations in Southeast Asia. These nations' delicate and globally important ecological treasures have been historically exploited for the European market. They are now in the midst of their own technological revolution and as a result expanding the environmental pressure for their own developing markets. The statement by Norman Bryson "Industrialization makes it impossible any longer to distinguish between luxury and necessity" (Bryson 2004) was a pervasive thought throughout this inquiry. It is through this work in particular I sought to examine current cultural practices in regards to consumption and point to environmental concerns in regards to the effects of that consumption.   As the title suggests, "Conversation with Pieter and Paul" is a visual discourse between two historical epochs in painting. This painting juxtaposes the compositional and narrative features of two master‚s works. Gauguin's "Where Do We Come From? Who Are We? Where Are We Going?" and 16th century painter Pieter Aertsen's"The Butcher Stall."

The conception for this work came from multiple sources such as historical and contemporary research, personal responses to life experiences, cultural transition, and a continuing dialogue with my previous landscape work. "The Butcher's Stall" was of specific interest in regards to both its historical significance in relation to the still life genre and its subversive compositional device of inversion. It evoked many questions in reference to why it was made, how it was made, how would it be interpreted in contemporary society,  and how could I  bring it into play in relation to the world we inhabit. Gauguin's imagery symbolically hints at the romanticised myth of a simpler more ecologically balanced world. It evokes nostalgia for the loss of spiritual connection to the earth and traditional culture. It also represents the euro-centric gaze projected on to a culture experienced as the exotic. The central figure reaching toward the apple alludes to the gaining of knowledge or technology.  My translation of that figure symbolically suggests the ousting from or destruction of The Garden‚ when the implementation of these technological and economically driven advances continues at their present rapid state.

The studio process evolved from drawings and still life studies informed by literature and tacit knowledge. Through the studio integration of traditional, observational painting, inventive painting, digital painting, digital collage and collaged reproductions of my still life painting, several more layers of meaning were developed. These layers revealed a sub-narrative on the history of still life painting, visual conversations between painters that crossed time, and painting technology.



born: 1962, Waterbury, Connecticut


Western CT State University, MFA, 2004
Charter Oak State College, B.S. Applied Art 1988

selected awards/honors

Art of Conservation, Publication Award, Artists for Conservation 2010
Ex Arte Equinus III, International Competion, 4th Place Drawing,International Journal of Art, History, and Horses, 2009
5K Grant, Nanyang Technological University, completion of creative work award, 2009
Fellowship from School of Art ,Design, and Media, Nanyang Technological University

selected publications

"The Painting Room: A Painterly Approach to Research," International Journal of Arts in Society, 2010, Commonground Publishing
The Art of Conservation, An International Exhibit, 2010
Art Horse Magazine, Spring 2010
International Journal of Art, History, and the Horse, 2010

selected solo or two-person exhibits

"Prima Matera," Block 43 Gallery, Singapore 2007, Solo Exhibition
"Musician's Life," The Red Barn Gallery, Bethlehem, CT, 2007
"The Disappearing Landscape," Icarus and Dadaelus Gallery, CT, 1991
"The Figure," The Old Church Art Studio, Waitsfield, Vermont, 1988

selected group shows

National Resource Defense Council, Environmental Art Prize Finalist, The Nabi Gallery, New York, 2010
The Art of Conservation, International Juried Exhibition, 2010
The Curators Choice, Invitational Exhibition, John Slade Eli House, Center for Contemporary Art, New Haven, CT.
"Particular Places," National Juried Exhibition, Juror: Bernie Chaet, C.A.W., New Haven ,CT, 2006

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